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Debatable Decisions EPL – Week 14 and 15

784   //    08 Dec 2012, 15:23 IST

A bumper edition of Debatable Decisions as we cover round 14 and 15 of the Premier League. No Callum this week, he was off watching The Ladyboys of Bangkok, but the other judges put in a long shift in watching a variety of decisions, unfortunately with an even number of judges we have to rely on referees when we can’t decide. Enjoy.

Tottenham HotspurLiverpool

Free Kick For Spurs Goal

Simon M – A pretty pathetic dive from a player that has had a pretty pathetic season. I loved Henderson’s reaction, not aggressive, almost embarrassed for Dempsey and the ref.

Simon F – Henderson barely touches Dempsey, he certainly doesn’t impede him and no way should this have been a free kick.

David – Even with the arms up and moving into an impeding stance, this is just a dive in my eyes. Simply not enough contact to merit the fall.

Michael – It’s a dive, and not a very pretty one at that. It seems dives like this only get a mention if they are made by Luis Suarez or Gareth Bale, but this one was as shameful as anything else we have seen this season.

Overall Verdict – Incorrect Decision

Gerrard Penalty Shout (Not Given)


Simon M – Included this because the commentator considered it a possible penalty. It wasn’t.

Simon F – A very slight touch in the back, but not enough for a foul, in my opinion.

David – Gerrard’s past him and I think the defender gives him a quick shove with the forearm as a result. Penalty.

Michael – It is one of those where I think there was contact and a nudge but not enough to warrant a foul. Gerrard just wasn’t strong enough.

Overall Verdict – Correct Decision

Suarez Penalty Shout (Not Given)

Simon M – I think I would have given this. Gallas catches his ankle and Suarez is about to shoot, reputation preceding him once again.

Simon F – Almost certainly a case of Suárez’s reputation going before him. Gallas catches his ankle and while, from the distance he is at, I can understand the referee not giving it, Liverpool should have had a penalty.

David – Hmm. He makes contact with the ball alright, but I still consider this a trip. Penalty.

Michael – CHEAT! Diver! Ready the stake for morning and let the vile rat burn for his heresy! Etc Etc Etc. Or something like that, anyway. That is what we are supposed to do whenever Suarez dares leave his feet, I’m told. Nothing in it at all, but it wasn’t a dive either.

Overall Verdict – Incorrect Decision

Wigan – Manchester City

Gomez Penalty Shout (Not Given)

Simon M – If he had gone down after the barge into his back I think I might have given it, he doesn’t and waits a few seconds and waits for some more contact and then throws himself down. No penalty for me.

Simon F – The first contact between them is just two players battling for the ball, and the second, when Zabaleta puts his arm around Gomez, is not anywhere near enough to warrant a penalty or the theatrics from Gomez. Good call by the referee

David – He gets a forearm in the back, then a bit of shirt pulling/arms around him. Enough for me. Penalty.

Michael – I don’t think you can reasonably give a penalty for that, personally. Looked like Gomez felt a little contact and tried his luck by going down. One straight from the Michael Owen school of ‘I don’t dive if I was touched’. Or, to put it another way, a dive.

Overall Verdict – Correct Decision


Pienaar Penalty Shout (Not Given)

Simon M – Tough one, but it certainly looks like Arteta has his hands on Pienaar and is pulling him back. I think I would have awarded the penalty for it.

Simon F – A tight call, but I’d give this one as a penalty. I think Pienaar has been pulled back by his shoulder and it does put him off balance as he was trying to shoot.

David – His arm is just in a bizarre place. But can’t see him grabbing the shirt, and Pienaar only falls when the ball has bounced away from his control. I’ll err on the side of the ref here.

Michael – This one is a REALLY tough one to call. Someone gets a nick on the ball just before Pienaar goes down but I am struggling to figure out who exactly. I think that given the stakes involved you have to err on the side of caution in such situations and give the defender the benefit of the doubt.

Overall Verdict – Incorrect Decision

Southampton – Norwich

Free Kick For Southampton Goal

Simon M – Woeful decision, really, really poor.

Simon F – I’m genuinely struggling to see what this was awarded for. Is there contact made or has the Southampton player simply fallen over? No free kick either way.

David – Can’t see the contact. Dive for me.

Michael – A bad decision. I don’t think the defender did much wrong there. Another player going down far too easily and another ref conned. Poor.

Overall Verdict – Incorrect Decision

Free Kick For Norwich Goal

Simon M – Snodgrass falls into the tackle, but if he hadn’t I think he would have been cleaned out. It’s late, doesn’t get the ball and I think a free kick was the right decision.

Simon F – Well this referee had a stinker, didn’t he? Awful decision, Snodgrass has simply fallen into & over the defender’s leg.

David – I think this is a bit late and a foul.

Michael – Looks like one of those where the change of the ball’s direction suggests that the defender won enough of it to be deemed a tackle rather than a foul. I think Southampton were badly done too, but got a little comeuppance given the manner of their earlier goal.

Overall Verdict – Correct Decision

Reading – Manchester United

Evans Penalty (Given and Scored)

Simon M – This is almost hilarious. What on earth was Tabb thinking about? He just cleans Evans out and the referee had no option.

Simon F – Wow, that’s bad defending. No questions, nailed on penalty.

David – I suppose he was looking for a shoulder charge, but misses horribly. Shoulder connects behind Evans’ shoulder, his back, and sends him flying. Poor defending and certainly a penalty.

Michael – Clear penalty for me. I have said it a few times here but if a player positions himself between the opponent and the ball then that opponent has to come around him if he wants it, not through him like the Reading defender did here.

Overall Verdict – Correct Decision

Reading Penalty Shout (Not Given)

Simon M – Good tackle from Evra, he doesn’t go through the man, but steps into the ball and wins in cleanly. Excellent defending and refereeing.

Simon F – Evra wins the ball cleanly, then the Reading man tumbles when he realises he’s lost it and feels the contact. Good defending, good refereeing.

David – I think that’s an excellent tackle, one of the rarer moments of good play from the United defence recently. Gets his leg in front, doesn’t buckle the Reading mans legs at all.

Michael – Right on cue, here is a defender coming around a player to get the ball. Good tackle. Good decision.

Overall Verdict – Correct Decision

Van Persie Shot Possibly Over Line

Simon M – Never going to be too critical of the officials when a ball is struck with such venom and there are so many players around the ball, but it’s clearly over the line and should have been awarded.

Simon F – ‘Possibly’ over the line? No possibly about it, Man Utd should have had a goal here.

David – RVP’s shot goes in with such speed, and bounces off the defender with such speed, that this could not have been spotted with just eyeballs. But it was well over the line. Should have been a goal.

Michael – Definitely over the line. A tough one for the officials as it happened so quickly, but these are the kinds of decisions football needs to be finding a way to get right.

Overall Verdict – Incorrect Decision

West Ham – Chelsea

Cech Handball Outside Area (Yellow Given)

Simon M – Understand why it’s a yellow, but he has time to change his run and train of thought and he’s denying a goalscoring opportunity. I think I would have shown red.

Simon F – Correct decision. Outside the penalty area goalkeeper’s are subject to the same rules as outfield players concerning handball, and Cech was not denying an obvious goalscoring opportunity, and therefore a yellow card was the right decision.

David – Considering that his hand stopped the West Ham player from getting a head to the ball, with the goal vacant and other players around, I’d consider this a scoring opportunity. Should have seen Red.

Michael – I think a yellow card is the right decision here. He is trying to handle the ball but probably doesn’t know for sure it is outside of his area. He also hasn’t denied anyone a clear goalscoring opportunity.

Overall Verdict – Correct Decision

Cole Possible Foul In Build Up To Goal

Simon M – He’s climbing all over Ivanovic, who does back into him, but there’s no way someone hangs in the air for that long without gaining leverage from an opponent.

Simon F – Cole clearly stops Ivanovic from challenging for the ball and the goal should have been disallowed.

David – The attacker has to go for this header, but he does climb all over the defender in the process. He doesn’t have to do that, he’s getting an unfair advantage by limiting the defenders movement. Free for me.

Michael – High ball that is no one’s by right and two players with an equal chance to win it. One of them just wants to win it more, that’s all. Good goal. Goalkeeper should have cleared both men out and made the contest irrelevant, though.

Overall Verdict – Incorrect Decision

Arsenal – Swansea

Chico Last Man Tackle

Simon M – Wonderful tackle, it’s from the side, last ditch and perfectly timed. Good decision from the referee too.

Simon F – Another borderline one. Chico does get a touch on the ball, then the momentum of the two players brings them together. I’m on the side of the referee and saying this wasn’t a foul

David – He does get the ball. That’s mostly immaterial. He still trips the attacker in the process, when he could have ran on to the loose ball and scored. A foul, and whatever comes after – free, penalty, red card.

Michael – Chico gets a good solid toe on the ball and wins it cleanly. A very fine piece of defending.

Overall Verdict – Correct Decision

Manchester City – Everton

Dzeko Penalty (Given and Scored)

Simon M – Theatrical dive, but we’ve discussed before how players sometimes need to be theatrical because if they aren’t then referees ignore fouls that aren’t really nasty. Penalty.

Simon F – Fellaini clearly tugs on Dzeko’s shirt and arm and there was no doubt this was a penalty.

David – Fellaini is pulling his shirt and holding his arm, even if the fall was comical. Foul.

Michael – Another baffling penalty decision at the Etihad. If you give a penalty for that, we’d might as well give in and start giving penalties instead of corners just to save on time.

Overall Verdict – Correct Decision

Liverpool – Southampton

Suarez Penalty Shout (Not Given)

Simon M – Another Suarez penalty shout, i’m going to add him into the decisions table on his own. His shorts are tugged back and in my book that’s a foul.

Simon F – Suárez was clearly impeded and although he still got a shot away, it wasn’t as clean a shot as he could have had were the defender not trying to climb into his shorts. It should have been a penalty.

David – Shorts being pulled. Pretty clear cut. Penalty.

Michael – I had to take a few views just to find anything wrong with this, but the tug on the shorts is quite clear in the end. Whether it was enough to impede Suarez in any way is another question entirely, though, and the fact he got his shot away from solid footing suggests not. No penalty.

Overall Verdict – Incorrect Decision

Agger Possibly Offside For Goal

Simon M – Slightly off, but off nonetheless.

Simon F – A very tight call and difficult to tell from the camera angle, but I think Agger is just offside. Certainly not one that I’m going to criticise the officials for missing, but I think it was wrong.

David – As the ball is played his upper body is ahead of the last defender. Offside.

Michael – If is a VERY difficult one to know for certain. Good goal I think. Just.

Overall Verdict – Incorrect Decision

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